Anime Iowa 2009

Friday | Fri/Sat | Saturday | Cosplay | Sat./Sun.

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After all the excitement of Kingdom Hearts meeting John Waters came the inevitable intermission. Rather than showing all the winners of the AMV contest this year, they showed only the Best In Show. I don't remember what it was. Frankly, after last year I ignored anything involving their AMV contest and regret nothing.

They were about to force the issue.

Saturday Night / Sunday
Finnish Line

This year's "clever" idea for an interlude was a throwdown between two staffers- one preferring anime videos set to music, one preferring anime videos set to movie trailers. I for one have the weird notion of preferring either as long as they're good. They wanted to settle an argument that I never realized existed. The solution to their non-existent problem? Show one of each and let the audience decide.

First up in the AMV category? Hardcore yaoi! Set to "I Won't Say I'm In Love" from Hercules, it was a fairly by-the-book romance video (only it's YAOI), only with teddy bear mascots filling in for the Greek chorus. I'm not sure how that saved the video, but it did. Enjoyable enough.

Then came the trailer, which was that very good Captain Tylor/Down Periscope mashup from last year. This is decent so far. The audience liked both of them equally, for reasons I'm still not sure of.

So they try again... this time our representative of AMVs chooses a Samurai 7 video set to "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" from Hamlet 2. Catchy song... meh video. The trailer submission was just as meh, but got the larger applause, thereby settling the debate once and for all.

While this is going on, Sarah and I open a line of communication through text message. They want to stay for the results, which is understandable. I remind them that we have a pizza to order, a room party to host and a masquerade that is running so incredibly long that it could easily stretch past 11:00. So she's like "go order the pizza now" and I'm like "what do you want on it" and Sarah consults with Evan and Natalie and is like "half cheese/half sausage" and I'm like "like hell is one pizza enough for all four of us" and she's like "fine get two" and I'm like "where should we order from" and she's like "Pizza Hut or wherever" and I'm like... "Okay." The preceding sentence was translated from text-speak for your comprehension.

Meanwhile, the video/trailer struggle continues despite a victor already having been determined. I have lost all interest. I don't remember what videos followed but they involved neither sexy bishounen nor sexy messiahs. Furthermore, I'm left to play Hero again and order pizza for the trapped nations. My effort to leave is thwarted by a door guard who tells me to go out the back. I go back and there is no available exit. So I try a different door guard who tells me that I am not allowed to leave at all. Apparently the tiny sliver of light caused by the opening door would interfere with the video of the masquerade event. I kindly explain to him that I am the Hero and interfering would not be a good idea. He interferes anyway. While I'm running interference, someone else opens the door to get out. He says "just f**king leave" as I sneak out. Contrary to his fears, the projection screen did not suddenly burst into flame... although at this point that would have made for a more entertaining show.

(Pro Tip: When volunteering at a con, do not swear at the congoers!)

Seriously, it's a good thing Iowa staff has such a good reputation. Had this happened at Detour, it would be an unforgiveable affirmation of "YellCon."

Back in the room, I ordered the pizzas and stewed over the rude volunteer tidied up the room and hid all of our personal items. We were out of ice... and so was the ice machine on our floor (the Nebraskon guys across the hall got the last batch). There was no ice on the third floor. So I go up to the fourth floor to get it. Yikes.

Sarah, Natalie and Evan arrived fifteen minutes later. Though they didn't win anything, they were excited about how well the skit went over. As we decompressed, we realized that the pizza would be arriving right as the party was about to start. That's not good; that pizza is ours, dammit. We agreed to delay the party for an hour while we ate, changed and chilled. We needed it. Hell, we deserved it.

An hour later, the folks started streaming in.

Me playing Tuna-chan as a guitar to the riff on Code Monkey. Yes, I'm a geek. Don't look so shocked.

The original plan Friday night was to use candy to reward winners of Name That Anime Opening. Since we never got around to playing it, I had a bag of Hershey's Kisses to give away. We used them as rewards for Apples to Apples. Some of those fancy hotel chocolates were reserved for extra-awesome answers.

A few staffers stopped by, including the masquerade's MC, informing us that despite the late finish of the masquerade, the dance started right on time. Sarah and I hid our cards and went down.

Greg was really rocking it tonight, with all sorts of crazy mixing. Still wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but he did sneak "Black Betty" in there somewhere, so points for that. It was also Sarah's first experience of a Greg dance, an eye-opening one at that. Best of all, she was able open her eyes since the lights weren't offensive like Daisho! Yay!

Another highlight- Shannon on stage breaking out her belly-dancing moves. Shame I didn't think to take a photo.

Back up at the room, we reclaimed our cards and the struggle continued. I went on a chocolate-driven tear, earning a ton of nasty points like associating Puffy with Dolly Parton and Sultry with Helen Keller. The latter earned me a fancy hotel chocolate. In essence, I out-Evaned Evan.

Erika, a No Brand buddy (in the Len Kagamine outfit in the above picture), wasn't just satisfied being there. She also drew this cute picture of Seychelles on Sarah's leg.

Slowly, Natalie and Sarah dropped out of the running as everybody got tired. We agreed to call it a night at around 4:00. Overall, another successful evening.

We even managed to wake up early enough to pack up without scrambling.

With a garbage bag, Natalie sells the image of a refuse-oriented Santa Claus.

Our bags were packed, the garbage was disposed of and the watermelon cookies were eated. And we were all pretty beat. Sunday was very mellow- one more romp through the dealer's room would be sufficient.

Our wolf friend is back, fresh off her award-winning masquerade entrance. Her prize- a big yummy tuna.

Eat that damn fish. Om nom nom.

In the dealer's room, a long line of goodbyes. Shannon, Richard, all our Hetalia friends, and John.

From his prancing outside, either John wasn't ready to leave yet or he had gone crazy and needed to escape. That or we were looking for a different picture to cap things off.

We were hanging around, watching items and flags for Denmark and Germany and planning our final exit. I gassed up the car on the way to Hyvee and we were only sort-of hungry. So the plan was to escape Coralville and eat lunch in Dubuque. The plan also involved singing a round of Re: Your Brains in the car.

At the DQ in Dubuque, Natalie was so enamored with the "jazz hands" model of Slippery When Wet sign that she thought it deserved a reenactment.

The ride back was a little anxious, because although Iowa was fantastic, it meant that the ball is now in our court. After a show like that, it only demonstrates how wonderful the con experience is when everything goes right, and the challenge of pulling it off. We know we will at Geek.Kon, but with Iowa over, it means we're next. I'm not sure exactly how the recap will work for a convention I'm staffing, but it'll certainly be a unique experience. And not just because I'm working...

I might even cosplay. Bum bum bum...

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